Dolly Parton

Burlap & Satin/Real Love

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This installment in Sony/BMG's series of "two-on-one" reissues from Dolly Parton's catalog unfortunately pairs up two albums decidedly unworthy of her abilities. Both 1983's Burlap & Satin and 1985's Real Love suffer from dated mid-'80s production; Parton almost sounds like an afterthought on the hollow-sounding Burlap & Satin, and while she's in livelier form on Real Love, the synthesizer-heavy arrangements and electronic drums prove to be a poor match for her voice. Ironically, Dolly's songwriting is in better form on Burlap & Satin, which features some fine tunes she wrote for the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (which the filmmakers bafflingly rejected), though she sounds a bit tired and dispirited before the microphone, while she generates more enthusiasm on Real Love's "We Got Too Much" and "I Can't Be True," which are fine tunes but don't cut as deep. Given that both of these albums had been out of print for some time, die-hard Dolly Parton fans may want to pick this up, but otherwise this "two-fer" finds her in a creative slump and the results are just a little depressing.

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